This post is brought to you by Angela McLean, one of my daughter's troop leaders. With the advent of cookie sales, I have posted a day early to share these insightful thoughts on how hearing NO can actually teach our girls just as much as hearing Yes. Thanks, Angela.
Girl Scout cookie season is upon us and you know what that means! Cookies!
Samoas! Thin Mints! Tagalongs! And RahRah Raisins? (hmm jury still out on that one)
And of course girl scouts too. Cute little girls (and big ones too!), knocking at your door, canvassing your neighborhood, stalking you in the supermarket. They are everywhere! (Mine is the one with the curls). And if you have a No Soliciting sign on your door? Well that might work, but my little girl can't exactly read that big word and oops! Too late! She already rang your door bell before I could stop her!
It's a delicious time. Thin Mints in my coffee is the best ever. And dangerous too. Especially for my waist line. And who the heck scheduled lent in the middle of cookie season!?!
So, with all of these little girls running around with delicious cookies, we have a choice to make. To buy or not to buy? To support that cute little brownie in the pig tails or not to support her? To stick to our diet or not to stick to our diet? To give up chocolate for lent or stuff our faces with Thin Mints?
Yes you should buy cookies if you want them, if you will enjoy them, if you will eat them, if you can afford them. But should you feel obligated to buy them?
No, of course not. For most of us that is a given. We know that we are not obligated to buy. But still we feel guilty saying no. By saying no we might crush some little girl's spirit. Or we might run out of Thin Mints for our coffee, which just might be worse.
But sometimes we need to say no. Because children need to hear NO. They need to be told NO so that they can learn that its not the end of the world to be rejected. The world does not in fact revolve entirely around their needs and wants.
They need to be told NO when the product they are selling is not desirable to their customers. And if their product is not desirable they may need to reconsider the value of their product.
They also need to be told NO and hear NO so that they can learn to SAY NO. If someone is trying to sell them a product that is bad for their health, bad for their finances, bad for their general well being, its okay to SAY NO. ( And yes I'm thinking of boys...and sex.)
Please SAY NO to my little girl this year if you don't want to buy cookies but please....
Don't pretend she doesn't exist and run to your car when you hear her asking if you'd like to buy some cookies. Children need to learn that they have value just because they are who they are. All it takes is a smile to acknowledge that they are special.
Don't go off on a diatribe about how horrible the scout industry is in general and how its all a big crock and you can't support such an evil corporation. My daughter is only five. This won't make any sense to her. I personally will not engage you in a conversation about why you should support scouts. You have a right to your opinion and it is your choice which organizations you choose to support.
Don't say “no...I can't....I already bought 200 boxes...and...I'm on a diet.” And then come back and buy 50 more because you just can't resist. I would like my daughter to learn about self control. If you would like to share that you're not eating cookies right now, that's up to you. But really, its not our business.
Don't be rude.
Do say, “No, thank you.”
Do say, “Good luck.”
But don't feel obligated to buy. It will not be the end of the world if my daughter doesn't earn that reward for selling 1000 boxes of cookies.
And after all, if you say NO, That means more Thin Mints for the rest of us!